With his wedding attracting royals and dignitaries from around the world, Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan gained global notoriety almost overnight.
The next Hashemite King was born on 28th June 1994 at the King Hussein Medical Centre in Amman, the first child to then-Crown Prince Abdullah and Crown Princess Rania. He and his sister, Princess Iman, were born before their parents’ accession to the throne, whereas their siblings, Princess Salma and Prince Hashem, were born after when Abdullah and Rania had already been proclaimed King and Queen.
Hussein, named after his paternal grandfather King Hussein, wasn’t always heir to the throne. The Jordanian constitution says that a monarch can designate an heir of their choosing, and that is exactly what Abdullah did when he became King.
The selected person was his half-brother, Prince Hamzah. However, on 24th November 2004, King Abdullah removed the title of Crown Prince from Hamzah, and, according to Jordanian constitution norms, agnatic primogeniture was activated.
This means that unless the King specifies otherwise, the monarch’s eldest son will automatically be considered first in the succession line. When this happened, many were expecting King Abdullah to still formalise his decision.
And so it happened: on 2nd July 2009, when Hussein was just 15-years-old, King Abdullah issued a Royal Decree that officially named him Crown Prince, with immediate effect.
Since then, His Royal Highness has been carrying out an increasing number of engagements at home and on the global stage. One of his most significant engagements is with the Crown Prince Foundation, which leads a large number of scientific and humanitarian initiatives (including a programme to promote opportunities for Jordanian students to undertake internships at NASA), as well as being responsible for a technical university.
He completed his high school studies at King’s Academy in 2012, moving out of Jordan to pursue a university degree in International History at Georgetown University, which he obtained in 2016.
He is the latest in a long list of royals who studied in Washington, D.C.; the most famous and recognisable names are King Felipe of Spain, who studied there with his cousin, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.
One of the Crown Prince’s most iconic moments was when he become the youngest person ever to chair a UN Security Council Session, during which he delivered a speech about maintaining global peace and security, as well as the fight to prevent young people from getting involved with extremist groups.
In that session, Jordan presented a motion, Resolution 2250 “Maintenance of international peace and security,” which was unanimously adopted by the Security Council. Then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said of him: “[He is] not yet 21-years-old, but he is already a leader in the 21st century.”
Since then, he has gained an increasingly prominent role; in 2017, he was in charge of delivering the welcoming speech for the Jordanian session of the World Economic Forum, and later that same year, he delivered a speech at the UN’s General Assembly.
Crown Prince Hussein has also undertaken extensive military training, including a 2013 training session with members of the 71st Counterterrorism Battalion, an elite unit of the Jordanian Special Forces.
He graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy in 2017, following one year of training there, and currently holds the rank of Captain in the Jordanian Armed Forces. He seems to be very attached to his military companions, and it was with them (and family members) that he celebrated his last night before the wedding at a massive party organised by the groom’s cousin, Prince Omar bin Faisal.
His engagement to Saudi-born Rajwa Alsaif was announced on 17th August 2022, and the engagement ceremony took place in the bride’s home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. And then, on Thursday, 1st June 2023, the spectacular wedding took place, in a mix between tradition and openness that has become a signature of King Abdullah and Queen Rania’s reign, as well as Crown Prince Hussein’s tenure as heir to the throne.